Sometimes life feels like you’re steering a ship through a storm. Chaos surrounds you, and the sea is threatening to swallow you up. How can we not only remain calm ourselves in these moments, but share that calmness with our children and families in moments of madness?
When you’ve already had a very long, very stressful day, and your 3 year- old neeeeeeedsssss to drink their milk from their pink sippy cup (but it’s dirty and you’re too exhausted to tackle the dishes, and so the green sippy cup will have to do the job, and they begin to fall apart at the very sight of the green sippy cup), how can you access your own inner calm and offer to share it with your child?
The power of a pause
Use your pause as a chance to take a deep breath. Use your pause as a chance to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Use your pause as a chance to reflect on the root of why you, or your child, might be feeling chaotic, to close your eyes and take a deep breathe. When we allow ourselves to pause in a moment of chaos or conflict, we allow ourselves the opportunity to reflect. We give ourselves the chance to reflect on why our child’s cries are making us feel stressed, instead of empathetic. Pausing gives us the gift of calming ourselves down and considering other’s perspectives. We give ourselves the chance to reflect on why our child is so intently focused on having a say in the color of their sippy cup. When we pause, we give ourselves the power of reflection. The capacity to reflect allows us to act sensitively towards ourselves, our children, and those around us.
When the chaos of life is creating a storm around us, pausing gives us the power to not get swept up or blown away. Pausing anchors us and we become an island in the storm, a safe haven for our children in the midst of any storms they may encounter.
Practice, practice, practice
It’s not always easy to pause or remain calm and empathetic when you and your family are in a storm. But the more you practice reflection; the more it becomes second nature. It becomes second nature to stop and take a deep breath when your child begins to melt down in the grocery store. This practice allows us to eventually remain calm and then offer to share your calm with your child when they scared, or irritated, or sad. Show them how you take deep breaths when you are scared, or irritated, or sad and how you are capable of moving through these hard emotions to sunnier skies and smoother seas.
The storms might just keep coming, but the more you practice pausing, reflecting, and remaining calm, the better prepared you and your children will be to weather whatever is thrown your way.